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school superintendents

9 things superintendents can do to empower leadership


School leadership is critical for edtech initiatives to work--here's what superintendents need to know.

School leadership is never an easy task, and throwing in changing technology and the move to digital teaching and learning can prove challenging for even the best superintendents.

Experienced superintendents have said transforming a school district and heading into the digital age is less a sprint and much more a marathon of small, incremental steps leading to their ultimate goal.

Many agree that school improvement models should be shared across the globe to help other educators learn valuable lessons about how shared passions for education can lead to long-lasting, positive changes in schools.

Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons is that becoming a strong and effective school superintendent does not hinge on just one thing, but rather, includes setting bold goals, investing in teams, articulating a vision and having honest communication with others.

Now, new superintendent one-pagers from CoSN offer a comprehensive set of resources focused on different edtech topics to help guide and empower superintendents as they lead their schools, educators and students through the digital transformation.

(Next page: Nine resources for school superintendents)

The one-pagers also aim to help superintendents more effectively communicate with their stakeholders. Communication and how it leads to stakeholder buy-in is consistently identified as one of the most important components of any edtech initiative or school plan.

One of the nine briefs focuses on the ever-persistent and troubling homework gap and digital equity gap. It urges superintendents to think outside the box as they search for solutions that will ensure students from all socioeconomic backgrounds are able to have reliable internet connections.
Creating a common vision for digital equity and agreeing upon the reasons why broadband access is necessary for all students and the school community are necessary steps, along with partnering with libraries, nonprofits and others to provide training on the internet’s importance.

The brief also gives superintendents resources to see how other states and districts are working to close the homework gap and achieve digital equity.

The nine briefs are accessible via CoSN’s Empowered Superintendents landing page, and they cover the following topics:
1. Accessibility: A key to creating an equitable, effective learning ecosystem everywhere, all the time for all students
2. Cloud computing: Email, learning management systems, and productivity tools–you’ve made it to the cloud! Now what?
3. The importance of cybersecurity
4. Leadership for mobile learning: How can districts find success with 1:1 implementations?
5. Online assessment: An evolving landscape. New opportunities.
6. Student data privacy: A school system priority. An essential commitment.
7. Smart network design for transformation and innovation: Part of the SEND Initiative
8. Strategic technology planning and investment: Aligning priorities. Balancing choice, cost and outcomes. Part of the SmartIT initiative.
9. Closing the homework gap: Digital equity strategies for learning beyond the classroom

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Laura Ascione

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